Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Roger Casement and the Ulster-Scots

I have been reading a biography of the Irish rebel Sir  Roger Casement (1864-1916) by Angus Mitchell and was surprised to come across this little nugget on page 176.
'He wrote a letter to the editor of The Ulster Guardian on 14 May [1913] attacking the concept of the Ulster Scot'.
Casement was a keen supporter of the Gaelic revival and Irish nationalism.  He played a central role in the arming of the Irish Volunteers and at the start of the First World War he spent some time in Germany seeking German support for a rebellion in Ireland.  Casement was born into a family of Ulster Protestant descent but converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before his execution for treason in 1916.
I look forward to reading this letter, something which will require a visit to the Newspaper Library in Belfast Central Library.  He was obviously wrong in his reasoning but it will be interesting to see what arguments he used
The Ulster Guardian started in 1903 as the Lisburn Weekly Mail and then in 1906 changed its name.  It was the organ of the Ulster Liberal Association and ceased publication in 1920..

1 comment:

  1. Casement was not partial to the Ulster-Scots or indeed the Scots themselves saying at one time: “Some of the north of Ireland hearts are not Irish at all and do not please to compound those basaltic compositions, imported from Scotland or God knows where, with anything native to the Irish temperament. It makes me angry to hear those people presuming to call themselves Irish – when they have no drop of Irish blood in their hearts.”